Sabotage Times, We can't Concentrate so Why Should You?Sabotage Times, We can't Concentrate so Why Should You?

The Fighter: Reviewed

by Matt Harvey
10 February 2011 24 Comments

Our review of Oscar-nominated film, The Fighter. A boxing movie about white people... Again.

Massachusetts is now well on its way to replacing Noo Joisey as my all-time favourite type of American accent. It has a slightly higher-pitched, more squirrelly tone to it than its better recognised cousin. I think it’s way cooler though and could happily listen to it grinding into my ears for hours on end. Or at least for 115 minutes which, coincidentally, is the precise duration of The Fighter.

The film tells the amazing true story of Micky “Irish” Ward, played by Mark Walberg, and his unlikely road to the World Light-Welterweight title. In particular, it focuses on his relationship with his half-brother and trainer Dicky Ekland (Christian Bale), himself a former boxing pro whose life has now descended into a nightmare of drug-addiction and crime.

Walberg and Bale’s characters are – like the boxers featured in Rocky, Raging Bull, Million Dollar Baby and Cinderella Man – white. Which is obviously totally fine. As anyone familiar with the professional game over the past 50 years will tell you, boxing is a sport played exclusively by white Caucasians. African Americans just aren’t really into it. It’s fine – there’s simply no need to adequately represent them in movie depictions of the sport – they don’t even know what boxing is! Drug Dealing, Rap Hop singing, and saying things like “Aw hell no!” – that’s much more up their street…

So, I think The Fighter is basically fine; an ok story that’s lifted by director David O. Russell’s quirky camerawork and some bombastic character acting from the supporting cast. Christian Bale, looking like a kind of crack-addled Popeye, is genuinely amazing as Dicky and will almost certainly win the Oscar he’s been nominated for. As will Melissa Leo as Micky’s manipulative mother. I actually think the film should have got a further nomination, split seven ways between the actresses playing Micky’s sisters. They are literally the most terrifying assembly of women I have ever seen in the cinema; a nightmarish horde of sweary fishwives with the uncanny ability to move around and talk as one single entity, like a swarm of chavy wasps. I wouldn’t even be surprised to learn that these characters weren’t even played by human beings, but instead are some kind of animatronic skankpuppets created in the Jim Henson Workshop. I demand a spin-off!

Click here for more stories about TV & Film

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook

If you like it, Pass it on

image descriptionCOMMENTS

M_ob 12:24 pm, 10-Feb-2011

Boxing biopics Ali and The Hurricane were about African American boxers.

Punch Drunk 12:34 pm, 10-Feb-2011

How could The Fighter, Raging Bull and Cinderella Man not be about white people? They're all based on true stories.

Orangepeel 12:57 pm, 10-Feb-2011

Shit like this annoys me. I really don't know what you are trying to achieve with the third paragraph. Trying to be clever when it's really just flippant, lazy sarcasm. There's really no need for it. Write another paragraph about the film instead.

Matt Harvey 1:03 pm, 10-Feb-2011

@Orangepeel Mum, is that you?!

mikie tysone 1:17 pm, 10-Feb-2011

yo dis shit is wack, when we was kings is abaaaat ali innit, tyson is abaaaat tyson innit, get. I FUCK YOU TILL YOU LOVE ME FAGGOTS

Elsie 1:41 pm, 10-Feb-2011

I agree with Orangepeel! Reviewer is an uneducated, uninformed, prejudiced knob-end who really should be looking for a job.....or Higher Education. Anything really-just give them some kind of purpose in life!

Johnny L 2:01 pm, 10-Feb-2011

In real life Mickey Ward is actually black, they just didn't think it would work in a movie. Most black boxers are fucked over by white managers. Unless they are managed by Don King. It's a good film but, Bale aside, nothing special.

oscar 3:34 pm, 10-Feb-2011

Quite possibly the most pointless film review I have ever read. I also agree with Orangepeel, the third paragraph is ridiculous.

Phoned it in 4:08 pm, 10-Feb-2011

lmao this is really bad

M_ob 5:16 pm, 10-Feb-2011

I disagree with some of his points, but theres no need to be abusive about it. It was free to read after all.

stanbowles 5:51 pm, 10-Feb-2011

The boxing is nearly as bad as the English accents. And Christian Bale's nose has never taken a punch. May I offer my services?

Matt Harvey 5:59 pm, 10-Feb-2011

Nah keep the abuse coming. I've got my flatmate reading these aloud to me while I apply electrodes to my testicles...

Orangepeel 6:10 pm, 10-Feb-2011

Wow, Matt. That is some put down. Bright future ahead...

stanbowles 6:29 pm, 10-Feb-2011

..But I reckon you could have some filthy fun in the sack with all those sisters.

Tayles 6:39 pm, 10-Feb-2011

As most boxing films are underdog stories, the the white chip-off-the-block fighting in a sport dominated by African-Americans is only a natural addition to that plot. After all, Stallone's motivation for writing Rocky only came after he saw Chuck Wepner valiantly lose to Ali - upon which Apollo Creed was based. A film about the generic group that dominate a game would be less effective as an underdog film.

Keith Wildman 9:34 pm, 10-Feb-2011

People on the Internet are mental. I read and re-read this and I must be missing something because I can't see anything to get your knickers in a twist about. Maybe they're just massive Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch fans?

Johnny L 9:51 pm, 10-Feb-2011

Boxing isn't dominated by black Americans. It might have been once but it hasn't been for a long time. Increasingly, it's Hispanic and Latin American and Eastern European fighters who dominate the sport. Your going to have to find another 'people' to champion the cause of. Keith, I haven't felt this mad since I noticed you Adidas aren't stored Alpha-numerically.

Barry R Tench 12:15 am, 11-Feb-2011

The only thing in this film that surprised me was that they had enough material to make it half interesting! Mediocre boxer mediocre film. I only went because I thought it was Gareth Bale!

Johnny L 6:04 am, 11-Feb-2011

Mediocre boxer? Are you fucking serious? You must have missed his career? 2001, 2003, 2003, Mickey Ward involved in The Ring Fight Of The Year, winning two of them.

Dan 2:01 pm, 18-Feb-2011

The reason that there's been relatively few films about black boxers, is because there are relatively few black actors who are ever given the starring role in a film.

BabyRep 2:49 pm, 18-Feb-2011

Keep the flippant, lazy, sarcasm coming. Peeler got a point though- i like more facts in film reviews please.

yadadamean 8:48 am, 27-Feb-2011

Your all time favorite accent is now the Boston accent. It seems as if you like another part of the culture, sarcasm. But just as you couldn't pull off an authentic Boston accent you failed miserably with your sarcasm in this shit review. Matt Harvey, You are ignorant. The women you mention in the third/last paragraph are actresses, they were ACTING. Here's a photo (link below) of these beautiful talented women.(Talent- something you obviously lack) LINK>!/photo.php?fbid=10150108410308534&set=o.191781540835975&theater

gho 4:59 pm, 24-Mar-2011

To Barry, are you trying to be funny? Just..don't, it just makes you looks stupid. Gareth Bale is a footballer, why would he be starring in a boxing flick. Footballer -> actor = does not compute.

Barry R Tench 3:33 pm, 25-Mar-2011

Gho...someone put you up to that didn't they? Who uses 'compute' other than 17 year old Internet nerds wanking themselves silly over Doctor Who? Here's a starter for you Cantona footballer into actor doh! and for your information I am fucking funny more than be said about you...warp factor 9

Leave a comment

Film image description SABOTAGE